Growing on the bank above Willow Brook in part shade is Osmunda regalis Purpurascens. In this cool spring the purple fronds (croziers) are only just starting to unfurl in a process known as Cercinate Vernation. As the season progresses the purple colour will be replaced by the usual green fronds of the extremely large Royal Fern, that can reach a height of over six feet.
Tucked away among our thousands of trees is a Hermitage where Simon the Hermits lives. When approached he’s a friendly chap and will cheerfully show you round his Hermitage and adjacent Shell Grotto. Having lived in the valley at Bocombe, as he says “since before time began”, he’s very knowledgeable about the Mystery of St Bocombe, and the rest of the world!
Visit the gardens at Bocombe Mill Cottage to explore what many an Estate owner in the 18th century paid handsomely for – a live Hermit! Check Simon out here,